“The Declaration of Independence is a product of Enlightenment thought.” Using the line in quotes as a topic sentence, write a paragraph that uses at least THREE examples from the Declaration to ‘make’ your persuasive case.
The framers of the declaration kept natural rights in mind because they did not want a newborn America to fall back into the corrupted ways of England. Therefore, explicit examples of natural rights are evident throughout the Declaration of Independence. One of the most famous clauses reads as follows: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Clearly, Enlightenment philosophers, such as John Locke, had a major influence on this historical document in this respect. Although the ideas of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” may seem blatantly obvious and undeniable, monarchies, such as the one in England, were notorious for denying these basic rights to their people. During its creation, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston made sure to include the basic ideals of natural rights in the Declaration of Independence.
In summary, the Declaration of Independence is a document that has its roots in Enlightenment ideals, such as natural rights and popular sovereignty. Philosophers like John Locke played a large role in influencing its rhetoric and justifications, those of which Jefferson utilized to place America on its way to freedom!